January 25 was our first game of the season, a home game against the Border City Rollergirls of Yuma. We lost, but I think we did some great things as a team, and I’m reasonably proud of how I did.
Stuff that went well
- Track communication! I’m pretty good at using my Big Track Voice to communicate with my pod-mates. “Get together!” “Jammer coming on the in!”
I wasn’t as vocal during the first half, which I think threw off my groove quite a bit, but I made an effort to talk LOTS during the second half and it really settled my brain down and helped me find my groove.
- Remembering that toe stops are a thing! For some reason, I completely forget to use my toe stops, especially for catching my balance when I start to wobble. But there were definitely a few spots where I took a hit, got a toe stop down, and managed to successfully stay upright.
- Positional blocking! I’m not super comfortable laying down the big hits, but I do think I’m decently good at getting in the way of the opposing jammer. I played inside bum, and even though there were some spots where the jammer got through the inside line (oops) I feel like I was pretty good at taking up space in a moving pack.
Stuff to work on
I’ve got a couple of goals for the next game (coming up in a few weeks) based on what happened:
- Knocking players off the track. Heck, I don’t think I even ATTEMPTED any hits in the last game, even though I’m fully capable of throwing a darn good shoulder. I’m going to get brave and try to lay down some hits next game.
- Mental toughness. Yuma took the lead early on, and it definitely got into our heads. I’m going to keep using positive self-talk to myself and my pod-mates and keep our spirits up, which is something I can be really good at if I set my mind to it.
- Maybe brace? I’ve been trying to move out of my inside-bum comfort zone and play brace at scrimmage, and I’m hoping I can do that during the upcoming game. Even though I’m not great at skating backwards, I like holding that position because I can see (and narrate!) what’s going on much better.
Also, I look SUPER different. It’s weird, but good.
When I first started derby about two years ago, I weighed 225 -230ish. I’ve lost a lot of weight since my revision surgery this summer, and I’m down in the neighborhood of 165.
Compare this pic from my very first derby bout in 2018:
And then look at now:
Not to say that my old body– even my MUCH bigger pre-surgery body– is bad, per se, but I like how I look at this size. I’m stronger and faster, partly due to all the cross-training work I’ve been putting in. So it’s pretty cool to see that side-by-side comparison and know that my hard work is paying off.
I was overwhelmed to learn that Yuma named me “MVP overall” for our bout. I’ve never received any sort of skating award– heck, I’ve never gotten any sort of award for anything even remotely athletic in my whole life! So even if I get down on myself for the little things I did, knowing that the other team thought I did a great job was incredibly meaningful.
It’s about three weeks until the next game. I’m excited, but of course I’m nervous. I’ve got a lot of anxiety about team practices (long story and a stupid brain) but I’m going to do my best and learn as much as I can. I’m also attending a huge scrimmage party put on by our derby neighbors in Casa Grande, so I’m looking forward to getting in some extra practice with folks I don’t normally skate against.
Bottom line? I had a blast at the last game, even though it was hard, and hopefully the upcoming game will be just as fun!